Shola Salako is no stranger to hard work. Commitment to education and becoming a dedicated and responsible worker was expected growing up in a household with Nigerian immigrant parents. He was born in New York and spent a significant amount of his life living in the United States but also had the opportunity to experience life back in Nigeria. Attending middle and high school (also known as secondary school) in Nigeria helped keep him connected to his roots.
After graduating from high school, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and a Master of Science in Management and Information Systems. He also has a number of certifications in different technologies. His education enabled him to build a thriving career and business in the information technology field as a software architect and consultant. That’s why launching a tech company such as BomaLink that caters to the African Diaspora is a no-brainer for him. It simply makes sense.
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The Birth of BomaLink – A Robust Networking Platform for the African Diaspora
Shola became inspired to launch a platform to connect black business professionals in the African Diaspora to business opportunities on the African continent after hearing H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao (Former African Union Ambassador to the U.S.) speak at Michigan State University’s African Studies Center in March 2019. Dr. Arikana’s words about the children of Africa being proud and giving back to our homeland awakened his spirit (the spirits of many others in attendance).
Her words also reconnected him with his African roots. Dr. Arikana’s speech enlightened him about the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 and the colonization of Africa. It also reminded him of how black people of African descent are always the last to know [the truth] about what’s happening in Africa, especially from a business and economic development perspective. His vision for BomaLink began to emerge.
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BomaLink Gives the African Diaspora the Chance to “Get in Early” on Wealth Building Opportunities in Africa
The word “Boma” means gathering in Swahili. That’s exactly what BomaLink does. It has been designed to gather, connect and unite the African governments and corporations with entrepreneurs and business professionals in the African Diaspora. Business opportunities in Africa are usually exposed to people outside of the African Diaspora (like the Chinese). In addition, the African government doesn’t know where (or how) to find talent in the African Diaspora. That’s why BomaLink was created. It’s a digital platform that enables the African government to search for, find and connect with talented entrepreneurs and business professionals in the African Diaspora.
African government officials can post new projects and business opportunities on the BomaLink platform and entrepreneurs and business professionals can post their full resume and credentials. By creating a platform where these groups can connect and engage, it gives people in the African Diaspora the chance to find out about wealth building business opportunities as soon as they become available. No longer will black people in the diaspora be left out of economic development opportunities on the African continent. And no longer will the African government be unable to connect with skilled and talented people in the diaspora. BomaLink solves those problems.
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Contract Finance – What Separates BomaLink from Other Business & Professional Networking Platforms
Not only does BomaLink use a different and more robust algorithm than its counterparts, the platform will also offer something that no other networking platform offers. Entrepreneurs and business professionals that win contracts using BomaLink will be able to apply for funding on the platform. The amount of funding one can obtain will depend on the budget of the contract. For example, if you bid on (and win) a contract that has been posted on the platform, you may be able to get paid for the execution of that contract upfront. This is similar to government contract financing in the United States.
In the U.S., government contractors can apply for financing (with private lenders) to cover the cost of executing a contract. This is because U.S. governments (city, state and federal) can take up to 6 months to pay for products delivered or services rendered by contractors. The same goes for African governments– they can take up to 6 months to pay contractors. BomaFund will help contractors avoid cash flow issues (due to having to wait for payment). It will also give them access to capital so they can pay for all the resources needed to execute their contracts successfully.
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Shola’s Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs – Be Strong Willed, Solve a Problem and Meet a Need
Shola says that “maintaining a consistent drive and will power in spite of results and failures” is absolutely necessary for reaching success. He suggests that you keep going if your business is something you truly believe in. He also stresses the importance of knowing your true passion and using it to solve a problem in the world. The most successful entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates solved problems and met the needs of the people.
Shola quoted Martin Luther King Jr, “You don’t have to see the entire staircase, just take the first step.” He says if you know what you want to do, but you don’t know how, just take the first step, learn as you go along and keep going. Shola has launched several tech businesses and continues to thrive in the tech field because of perseverance, passion and belief in his dreams.
Explore Business Opportunities in Africa Starting Now – BomaLink is Live
BomaLink has been live since Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Visit the site to create your profile and begin searching for business opportunities on the African continent. You owe it to yourself and your ancestors to reconnect to the motherland. BomaLink’s first 1,000 members would be gifted with a special founding member badge. You can also connect with Shola for company updates on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. For press inquiries, please email Brittni Abiolu at press[at]bomalink.com.
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